Variations on a Rock Worm

Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman, Montana

“Nature is so delightful and abundant in its variations that among trees of the same kind there would not be found one which nearly resembles another, and not only the plants as a whole, but among their branches, leaves, and fruit, will not be found one which is precisely like another.”  –Leonardo da Vinci

This sentiment would be an anathema to commercial fly tiers. When you see one commercially tied Royal Wulff, you can marvel at its form, proportions and intricate combination of materials. But when you see 100s or 1000s of the same fly, it is truly awesome at the ability of commercial tiers to eliminate variation and replicate a precise pattern seemingly infinitely—almost robotic. Their customers demand such precision. Such is not the case for the amateur fly tier. We are not beholding to precision in our tying unless we so choose. Thus I make the case for Variations.

“In music, variation is a formal technique where material is repeated in an altered form. The changes may involve melody, rhythm, harmony, counterpoint, timbre, orchestration or any combination of these.” – Wikipedia. Let’s alter that–In fly tying, variation is a technique where elements of the fly are tied in an altered form. The changes may involve tails, bodies, ribs, thoraxes, eyes, wings, hooks, weight, materials, etc. or any combination of these. So to start my journey on variations, I chose the lowly rock worm or larva of 100s of species of Rhyacophilidae caddis flies or (Green Sedges). A nifty You Tube video gives us a good view of this larva’s behavior.

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Only the Harder to Tie Fly’s Catch Fish?

Guest Blogger Justin Aldrich

Coming right out of the gate let’s get the title directly out of the way and include it here so it’ll all make sence…..
So, only the harder to tie Fly’s catch fish, right??? Now that that’s taken care of…..

For right now I’m primarily speaking about our submerged bugs here. Nymphs, Pupa, Scuds, Midge’s, Crane Larvae, you get the picture. Although some of what I’m about to throw down applies to Dry’s, Emergers, and Streamers as well….

Well, it only makes sense when you think about it. Since your at some level thinking about it briefly right now, you’ve figured, “Hey, he’s gotta point….” Even if it is a lot of bull.

After all, good things happen when you work hard…. Salary increases at your job, heartier crops in your gardens, and even your personal health. So why wouldn’t the more timely and difficult patterns catch more fish than the amateur hour simples ones? Hang on, I’m getting there…

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Adaptation Can Be Fun and Rewarding—The Montana Temple Dog

Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman, Montana

oneFor the fly tier, adaptation can be a bit of fun. I tie flies because I enjoy the process and quiet time as I sequester myself in my fly tying room. Although from a practical perspective, I don’t really need more flies, but there’s this constant itch to do something a bit different. And when that bit of difference proves itself on the river, it really is rewarding. Such was the case when I embarked on adaptations of the Temple Dog style of fly tying. My Temple Dog style flies, tied in “Montana” colors proved themselves with “tie flying” colors the first time out on the river. One of my early Montana Temple Dogs in olive seduced three 18”+ browns in a span of 15 feet along a deep undercut and very fast current on the Madison River this summer. Three big fish in less than a dozen casts in such a short span of water was either pure luck, or I had a fly pattern with some real potential.

Continue reading → Adaptation Can Be Fun and Rewarding—The Montana Temple Dog